The Jordanian government has revealed that it has stopped a plot to “destabilize” the kingdom involving Prince Hamza bin Hussein, a half-brother of King Abdallah II and has arrested several suspects. Hamza, who claimed in a video that he was house arrested in his building and could no longer communicate with the outside world, along with others “planned to undermine Jordan’s security and stability”, said the deputy prime minister. and Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, formally accusing the prince of sedition, in the aftermath of the barrage of arrests. At a press conference, Safadi reported that a total of 16 people were arrested. According to the deputy prime minister, Hamza “was in contact with foreign elements and opponents” in Jordan “with the aim of destabilizing the government and the royal family”.
For this reason, “the security services, through in-depth investigations have long monitored the activities and movements” of the prince, Sharif Hasan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, the former finance minister and former chief of staff of the Crown Basem Awadallah and of the others. “A foreign intelligence agency contacted the prince’s wife to organize an escape plane,” the foreign minister revealed. Safadi then assured that “efforts were made to keep the facts within the family, but in the end they were not successful.
The authorities, he explained, “intervened after suspicions entered a phase that goes beyond planning and there was already talk of when to act”. Safadi then said that “the operation is now over” and did not deny the press reports that Hamza had orchestrated a coup, but stressed that “there is no talk of arrests among members of the Armed Forces” . Until Safadi’s intervention, the official press had continued to deny not only Hamza’s arrest but also his involvement in the plot. Shortly before, Queen Nur had also denounced the “slander” against her son. Nur, fourth and last consort of the late King Hussein, said “to pray that truth and justice prevail for all innocent victims”.
According to the Washington Post, there are several intelligence agents among those arrested. Local intelligence sources quoted by the newspaper spoke of a “complex and far-reaching conspiracy” which allegedly involved, in addition to members of the royal family and the secret services, some tribal leaders loyal to Hamza. “We are following the information carefully and are in contact with the Jordanian authorities,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price in a statement. “King Abdallah – he underlined – is a key ally of the United States and has all our support”. The Saudi crown expressed its support for the “decisions of the king and prince Hussein bin Abdullah to protect the security and stability of the country against any attempt at sabotage”.
“Solidarity” was expressed by the Arab League. Hamza confirmed that the people arrested were his friends and denied that he was part of a conspiracy. However, he stressed that the Hashemite kingdom “is plagued by corruption, nepotism and underworld” and that no one is allowed to criticize it. Turkey also expressed “concern” and “strong support” for the peace and prosperity of a country “key to peace in the Middle East”. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned that “the events in Jordan are internal affairs. It is a country with which we are at peace. There is strategic importance in our relations. We must do everything to preserve this alliance. , which has existed for 30 years “.
“It is in the interests of Israel’s security and we will do whatever it takes to assist Jordan economically.” Iran stressed “the importance of peace and stability in Jordan” and “opposes any foreign interference”. With no official duties, Hamza, 41, is the eldest son of Queen Nur, fourth wife of the late King Hussein, who had conceived Abdallah II with his second wife, Princess Muna. Hamza was appointed crown prince in 1999 in line with Hussein’s last wishes but in 2004 Abdallah II stripped him of the title to assign it to his eldest son, Hussein bin Abdullah.